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NEW ENGLAND

Explore Savor the sites, sounds and tastes of summer

S U M M E R 201 6

CULTURE & CUISINE Maine lobster, Boston history, Hartford museums & casinos ISLAND APPEAL Artsy Martha’s Vineyard or nautical chic Nantucket ALONG THE SEASHORE Enjoy hiking, camping, scenic drives


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CONTENTS

NEW ENGLAND

ACADIA NATIONAL PARK See natural beauty by land and by sea

MAINE OFFICE OF TOURISM; THINKSTOCK

NEW ENGLAND

FEATURES

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CULTURE & CASINOS Connecticut’s Hartford is home to history and gaming

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GRAND HOTELS Head to Rhode Island for a peek at Newport’s high life

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BOSTON Count the sites to see in Massachusetts’ first city

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SCENIC DRIVES ! ere is more to Vermont than just mountains and green trees

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OLD! TIME ATTRACTIONS New Hampshire has plenty of beloved places to visit

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SAMSUNG

DIRECTOR

Tully Lake Campground

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R. SMITH, COURTESY OF THE TRUSTEES OF RESERVATIONS

STATE BY STATE

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CONNECTICUT

EDITORS

Chris Garsson Elizabeth Neus Hannah Prince Lori Santos Sara Schwartz

The Ocean State has plenty of sandy beaches

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TRAVEL TECH Top gadgets to take along on your summer travel

DESIGNERS

Ashleigh Carter Miranda Pellicano Gina Toole Saunders Lisa M. Zilka

MASSACHUSETTS Martha’s Vineyard or Nantucket: Which island will it be?

UP FRONT

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Suzanne Bopp, Diane Bair, Stacy Chandler, Luisa Colon, Hollie Deese, Nancy Dunham, Janene Mascarella, Larry Olmsted, Pamela Wright

Cool campgrounds for the whole family

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ADVERTISING

VERMONT

VP, ADVERTISING

Visit Vermont sugar houses and see syrup making COOL GIGS Five fun hotel jobs that cater to quirky

Jerald Council jcouncil@usatoday.com MANAGING EDITOR

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ONYX HOTEL

CREATIVE DIRECTOR

Michelle Washington mjwashington@usatoday.com

Travel the Connecticut Beer Trail to taste unique flavors

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Jeanette Barrett-Stokes jbstokes@usatoday.com

PAUL REYNOLDS PHOTOGRAPHY

Patrick Burke | (703) 854-5914 pburke@usatoday.com ACCOUNT DIRECTOR

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Justine Goodwin | (703) 854-5444 jgoodwin@usatoday.com

NEW HAMPSHIRE Tackle challenging hiking trails amid beautiful scenery

ISSN#0734-7456 A USA TODAY publication, Gannett Co. Inc.

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MAINE

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Chase down the perfect lobster

For accuracy questions, call or send an e-mail to accuracy@usatoday.com.

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The Brant Point Lighthouse in Nantucket, Mass. | Mike Barton Photography

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By Marc Saltzman UMMER VACATION IS ALMOST upon us, and these high-tech toys will help you stay productive, entertained and connected. If you remember the three important L’s of travel tech — little, lightweight and long battery life — you’re off to a fine start. Here’s five great gadgets:

THREAT 1 TRIPLE Talk about multipurpose:

Kingston’s MobileLite Wireless Pro is a small Wi-Fi-enabled device that has 64 GB of built-in storage, which you can load up with movies, TV shows and music, and wirelessly access on multiple devices. There’s also a USB port and SD card slot, if you prefer to insert media. It’s also a portable 6700mAh battery that has nearly three full charges for a smartphone and a portable router with built-in Ethernet port. $130; kingston.com UP 2 HEADS If you’re heading for cooler

climes, stay warm and still hear your tunes. Caseco’s Blu-Toque Bluetooth beanie is a knitted cap with built-in speakers that wirelessly streams music, audio books, podcasts or calls from any Bluetooth-enabled device. These washable beanies (just zip out the

4 speakers) come in more than 40 colors and styles. Charge one up in less than two hours, and enjoy continuous music for up to six hours. $49.99; caseco.ca GOT YOUR BACK 3 The Hedgren Junction

laptop backpack supports an external battery (not included) for charging mobile devices with a retractable USB cord for added convenience; RFID (radio frequency identification) blocking for extra security; and a padded laptop sleeve for notebooks up to 15 inches. The nylon backpack features multiple compartments and zippered pockets, including one with a hard shell for fragile gadgets. $119.99; handbags.com TABS 4 KEEPING The 8-inch Samsung Galaxy

Tab S2 is a slick tablet with a sharp Super AMOLED display, making it ideal for watching videos,

playing games, reading e-books or browsing the Web. Along with a speedy processor and the Android 5.1 Lollipop operating system, the tablet features 32 GB of internal storage, dual cameras, fingerprint recognition, a kids’ mode, SideSync support (to wirelessly share content with nearby Samsung devices) and access to Google Play. $399.99; samsung.com PLEASE 5 KEYS, Need to work on your trip

but don’t want to lug a laptop? The aptly named Microsoft Universal Foldable Keyboard is an ultra-thin, lightweight mobile accessory that unfolds to a full-size QWERTY keyboard and can be simultaneously paired with two Bluetooth devices. Compatible with iOS, Android and Windows tablets and phones, this spill-resistant keyboard has a rechargeable battery that lasts three months. $99.95; microsoftstore.com

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COURTESY OF THE COMPANIES


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Cruising the Connecticut River from Hartford’s Riverfront, May to October Sightseeing Cruises & Group Charters www.Hartfordbelle.com • 860.665.9428


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COOL HOSPITALITY: NEW ENGLAND Searching for a hotel that has some unique people catering to your every quirky need? Check out these five cool (and coveted!) positions.

BEER CONCIERGE Native Matt Canning is Hotel Vermont’s beer concierge, a job he has spent 30 years preparing for. Canning helps guests navigate the hops and malts of the best brews. “Everyone is aware of the reputation that comes with Vermont craft beer,” says Canning. “My role involves … communication with guests on where and when to buy Heady Topper or other hard-to-find brews, events and beer releases, and staying abreast of the local draft lineups.” ▶ 41 Cherry St., Burlington, Vt.; 855-650-0080; hotelvt.com

By Janene Mascarella

DIRECTOR OF PET RELATIONS If Charley isn’t greeting guests and their dogs at the boutique hotel Onyx near Boston’s TD Garden, she’s likely out nosing around. The 5-year-old lemon-and-white beagle loves her director gig, says owner Travis Breen, a marketing director for Kimpton Hotels, which operates Onyx. “She sits patiently at the front desk or in the lobby, greeting all human guests as they check in,” Breen explains. Then she escorts dog guests (and their owners) to their room and is on call, ready to “walk with them, ‘pet-sit’ or assist with any of their canine needs.” ▶ 155 Portland St., Boston; 617557-9955; onyxhotel.com; contact Charley at charley@onyxhotel.com

NATURALIST The Weekapaug Inn, a quaint 27-guestroom property in coastal Weekapaug, R.I., has a staff naturalist, Mark Bullinger, who offers complimentary, seasonal classes for guests. Be it guided kayak outings, van tours or beach walks, Bullinger is your man. He also sets up a computerized telescope on Friday nights to examine the moons of Jupiter or rings of Saturn. “I love helping people discover this amazing shoreline, where I grew up, and even more, introducing kids to the wonders of nature.” ▶ 25 Spray Rock Rd., Weekapaug, R.I.; 401-637-7600; weekapauginn. com

CHIEF TYPEWRITER TECHNOLOGY OFFICER The Press Hotel in Portland, Maine, housed in the former building of the Portland Press-Herald, keeps the art of writing and typing alive. Working manual typewriters are found throughout the lobby and the chief typewriter technology officer is in charge. He changes ribbons, restocks hotel paper and offers tutorials. “Did you know that old typewriters don’t have the numeral ‘1’ because a lower-case ‘L’ does double duty?” says Josef Kijewski, the current office holder. Guests can write letters, which the hotel mails. “It’s one of many ways The Press Hotel connects with the building’s history.” ▶ 119 Exchange St., Portland, Maine; 207-808-8800; thepresshotel.com

STYLE & EXPERIENCE CURATOR Not your typical art curator: In Boston, at the uber-stylish Nine Zero hotel, Style & Experience Curator Ricardo Rodriguez selects lifestyle retailers such as cosmetics guru Tavi de la Rosa and the awardwinning Mario Russo Salon, among others, to offer guests exclusive experiences. “Ricardo has created and curated a ‘Live Like a Local’ program that affords guests of Nine Zero the opportunity to shop, dine and experience the city of Boston like only Bostonians do,” says Michal Penek, general manager. ▶ 90 Tremont St., Boston; 617-7725800; ninezero.com

GREG COMOLLO; ONYX HOTEL; CHIP RIEGEL; IRVIN SERRANO/THE PRESS HOTEL; JOEL BENJAMIN


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CONNECTICUT Mark Twain House

Lake of Isles golf at Foxwoods Casino

CONNECTICUT OFFICE OF TOURISM; FOXWOODS RESORT CASINO; THINKSTOCK

CONNECTICUT CROSS CULTURE Hartford now home to history, and casinos

By Larry Olmsted

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NE OF AMERICA’S OLDEST cities — since 1637 — Hartford was also among the nation’s wealthiest. It still boasts the oldest public art museum and park, as well as tributes to two famous authors, among many other historical highlights. Its longtime nickname, “The Insurance Capital of the World,” may now be obsolete, as many indemnity firms have

left, but Connecticut’s state capital has filled the void with new tourist attractions. A different form of risk/reward more popular with visitors is thriving east of the city: two of the nation’s largest casinos, Foxwoods and the Mohegan Sun.

FIRST, THE HISTORY

The city’s top tourist attraction had long been the Mark Twain House & Museum, and the longtime resident called Hartford chief among “all the beautiful towns it has

been my fortune to see.” He wrote many famous works in the 25-room Victorian mansion, including The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, The Prince and the Pauper, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court. Now a National Historic Landmark, the home is adjacent to the 45,000-square-foot Webster Bank Museum Center, which houses a permanent exhibition on Twain’s CO N T I N U E D


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life and work, rotating exhibits, gift shop, and a theater playing a short Ken Burns documentary. There are many items from the author and his family but what really sets it apart are the offbeat scheduled events, such as the “Tapping into Twain” Oktoberfest celebration and the frequently held Graveyard Shift ghost tours, which have been featured on Syfy Channel’s Ghost Hunters. Twain’s property abuts that of Harriet Beecher Stowe, author of the groundbreaking anti-slavery novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin. The Stowe Visitor Center, in a former carriage house, contains a large collection of historic materials, displays, the Museum Store and an exhibit gallery. This property, also a National Historic Landmark, is popular with ghost fans as well, with an after-dark “Spirits at Stowe” tour, during which guests learn about the author’s interest in spiritualism and do hands-on ghost hunting with a meter and recorder. Just a few minutes away are the bulk of the downtown attractions, including Bushnell Park, the nation’s oldest publicly funded park, and the much newer Connecticut Science Center, which displaced Twain’s home as Hartford’s top attraction. The very interactive center is aimed at all ages and has 150 hands-on exhibits and world-class traveling exhibitions, most recently adding Leonardo DaVinci’s Machines in Motion. Founded in 1842, the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art is the nation’s oldest public museum, holding nearly 50,000 pieces. It wrapped up a five-year, $33 million expansion in 2015. Collections date back to the Pilgrims. “Twain’s house backs up to the Stowe house, they were neighbors and knew each other,” says Randy Fiveash, director of the Connecticut Office of Tourism. “Not far from them is America’s oldest art museum, and close to it (is) the state-ofthe-art science center, just tremendous, very high quality, right on the river. It’s a lot to see in a very concise area.” And it’s all near the convention center, contributing to the resurgence of downtown. For tourists, this is most notable on Front Street, a new development of shops, restaurants and a live theater.

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Mohegan Sun Casino

ART AND HISTORY Mark Twain House 351 Farmington Ave.; 860247-0998; marktwain house.org Stowe Visitor Center 77 Forest St.; 860522-9258; harrietbeech erstowecenter. org Connecticut Science Center 250 Columbus Blvd.; 860724-3623; ctsciencecen ter.org

CASINOS Foxwoods 350 Trolley Line Blvd.; Mashantucket; 800-3699663; foxwoods.com Mohegan Sun 1 Mohegan Sun Blvd.; Uncasville; 888-226-7711; mohegansun. com

Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art

Connecticut Science Center

AND THEN THE GAMBLING

If you’re looking to add a little spice and nightlife to your dose of history and culture, head east toward the Rhode Island border, where two major full-service casino resorts — one easily the biggest outside Las Vegas — sit in close proximity. Foxwoods has the largest casino floor on the continent, with more than 250 table games, nearly 5,000 slots and one of the nation’s largest poker rooms. “Foxwoods

Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art 600 Main St.; 860278-2670; thewadsworth. org

MOHEGAN SUN; SASSY MOUTH PHOTOGRAPHY; CONNECTICUT OFFICE OF TOURISM

was New England’s first casino and it is now the second-largest casino in the world,” says Steve Bourie, author of the 2016 American Casino Guide. Mohegan Sun is more intimate, but still vast, and skews more toward entertainment. Its high-rise 1,200-room hotel tower, with three separate themed casinos, has a lot to offer. But as true resorts, these go beyond just gaming. Both have spas, golf courses, live theaters, retail, multiple bars and nightclubs, and dozens of eateries. Foxwoods has well over 2,000 rooms across four hotels and a bowling alley. Its stunning Lake of Isles North Course is highly regarded. The most recent addition is the new Tanger Outlets at Foxwoods, more than 80 outlet stores directly connected to the two main hotel towers. Mohegan has the bigger live venues that attract everyone from Kenny Chesney to Def Leppard. There is a large family and kid’s cyber entertainment zone, and two of its own professional sports teams are on site, lacrosse’s New England Black Wolves and the WNBA’s Connecticut Sun. Choose between 44 dining options, including outposts of one of the world’s most famous pizzerias, Frank Pepe’s, and enjoy fare by celebrity chefs who include Cake Boss Buddy Valastro, Bobby Flay, Todd English and Michael Jordan.


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CONNECTICUT

Cambridge House Brew Pub

CONNECTICUT

BEER TRAIL Try the unique flavors that are poured aplenty

CONNECTICUT OFFICE OF TOURISM

By Nancy Dunham

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E’RE GOING TO LET you in on a secret. You and other craft beer lovers know Milwaukee, Boston and Asheville, N.C., are some of the best places to indulge in original brew. But many enthusiasts have yet to discover the Connecticut Beer Trail. There are dozens of local breweries, brew pubs, home brew shops, beer bars and stores, and more popping up all the time. Drive the trail or take one of the many bus tours to peruse the offerings from Branford to East Haven, Stratford and beyond. Here are some of the best spots for hops:


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Eat, Drink, Live

BACKSTAGE

Torrington

You have to love a place that has the motto of “Eat, Drink, Live.” It sure fits, though, when you consider that Backstage offers 80-plus varieties of craft brew beers, dozens of brews on tap and 70 bottled beers. If you go to a concert or event at the nearby Warner Theatre, the staff at Backstage will stay open late for you. ▶ 84 Main St.; 860-489-8900; backstageeatdrinklive. com

Get Crafty

CAMBRIDGE HOUSE BREW PUB

Granby

Want to feel like a local? Try the Cambridge House Brew Pub, known for its craft beers ranging from Moonbeam Stout, Alt-45 and Copper Hill Kolsch to a much-talked-about Abijah Rowe IPA. This brew pub also serves burgers, steaks and plenty of comfort food. Save room for dessert! ▶ 357 Salmon Brook St.; 860-653-2739; cbh.beer

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Homemade Brew

Drink a Winner

SOUTHPORT BREWING COMPANY

Milford

Drop in for brunch, lunch or dinner and enjoy some of the 27 homemade brews at the locations in Southport or Milford. You can watch the brewing process from the restaurant in Southport. ▶ 2600 Post Rd., Southport; 203-256BEER ▶ 33 Haven Ave.; 203-874-BEER; southportbrewing. com

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Local Love

Sip in History

THOMAS HOOKER BREWING COMPANY

WILLIMANTIC BREWING COMPANY

Bloomfield

Windham

This brewing company has been a local favorite for more than 20 years. Enjoy the company’s eight ales and five lagers, plus specialty and seasonal offerings. ▶ 16 Tobey Rd.; 860242-3111; hookerbeer. com

Don’t feel guilty about sipping beers instead of visiting landmarks. The Willimantic is housed in the 1909 U.S. Post Office building, so you can get your dose of history while tasting in-house favorites or ever-changing guest beers. ▶ 967 Main St.; 860423-6777; willimantic brewingcompany.com

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NEW ENGLAND BREWING CO.

Woodbridge

This tiny brewery packs a big punch. It’s won plenty of awards and the changing offerings — think Fuzzy Baby Ducks (single hop beer), Gold Stock Ale (English India pale ale) and Ghost Pigeon (American porter) — ensure there are always new tastes to try. ▶ 175 Amity Rd.; 203-387-2222; newenglandbrewing. com

Hartford

CONNECTICUT

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Check out the Connecticut Beer Trail link. Ch If you need more particulars, here’s a taste, co courtesy of the state’s tourism office: ctvisit. co com/trail/beer THINKSTOCK


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RHODE ISLAND

THE BREAKERS 1895

THINKSTOCK; GAVIN ASHWORTH

THE HIGH LIFE Experience the height of luxury in Newport’s grand mansions and hotels

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By Suzanne Bopp

HE POPULAR CLIFF WALK in Newport feels like a movie set. On one side of the 3.5mile public shoreline walkway, far below you, the Atlantic Ocean crashes against the rocks; on the other stands a row of mansions from a bygone and extravagant era. Of course, before the mansions, there was the area’s natural beauty, luring the wealthy to make this their summer playground. “Newport is a legendary destination — people have been coming here for hundreds of years,” says Andrea Carneiro of the Preservation Society of Newport County. “This is America’s first resort.” From stunning estates to a whimsical garden, Newport County will sweep you back to an elegant time. CO N T I N U E D

Set on wide, lush grounds, The Breakers is the largest of Newport’s mansions. Now open to the public, it was built by Cornelius Vanderbilt II as an Italian Renaissance-style enormity: 70 rooms (more than 100,000 square feet), huge, intricate chandeliers hanging from 50-foot ceilings, gold filigree and velvet covering every surface, representing the Gilded Age down to every detail. The audio tour includes voices of occupants past bringing the opulence and excess to life, Carneiro says. “You get these very fun personal stories of them reminiscing about riding tricycles around the great hall or sliding down the grand staircase on a silver dinner tray,” she says. ▶ 44 Ochre Point Ave.; 401-8471000; newportmansions.org/ explore/the-breakers


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ROSECLIFF 1902

Green Animals Topiary Garden

Gleaming columns and arches form the facade of Rosecliff, a mansion modeled after the garden retreat at Versailles in France. Inside, it opens to a soaring heart-shaped staircase. The mansion, which was the setting for the 1974 film version of The Great Gatsby, was commissioned by silver heiress Theresa Fair Oelrichs in 1899. Harry Houdini amazed the guests at one of her legendary dinner parties. ▶ 548 Bellevue Ave.; 401-8471000; newportmansions.org/ explore/rosecliff

THE PRESERVATION SOCIETY OF NEWPORT COUNTY

THE GARDENS OF NEWPORT COUNTY Trees & Topiaries A visit to the mansions reveals that their exteriors — acres of meticulously landscaped gardens and towering trees — are just as exquisite as their interiors. “We are known for the trees — there are trees that are original to the properties,” Carneiro says. Another horticultural delight — Green Animals Topiary Garden, the oldest of its kind in the country — is just a few miles away in Portsmouth. “The giraffe, the lion and the camel are over 100 years old,” she adds. After spring has brought Newport’s gardens and foliage into blooming splendor, it’s the perfect time to visit, says Newport guide Tammy Fasano. When summer arrives, so do the crowds. “Before the beginning of July is a great time to come because it’s not in full swing yet. The weather is lovely — and parking is good!” Fasano advises. Early arrivers can take advantage of lower rates at some of Newport’s most glamorous hotels. Fasano recommends the famous Vanderbilt Grace, a 1909 mansion that’s now a luxury boutique hotel — a glass of champagne will be waiting for you. ▶ 41 Mary St.; 401-846-6200; gracehotels.com/vanderbilt ▶ 380 Cory’s Lane, Portsmouth; 401-847-1000; newportmansions.org/ explore/green-animals-topiary-garden

We are known for the trees — there are trees that are original to the properties.” Andrea Carneiro "# $ %&$' $&( ) "*+ / ' + 2*$"3+ 5 /$6 %+ &" 2+ : /"3

THINKSTOCK


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A LITTLE LESS TONIER OPTIONS Newport also offers historical accommodations without the Vanderbilt-level price tag.

THE CHANLER AT CLIFF WALK; WHITEHOUSE.GOV

THE CHANLER AT CLIFF WALK 1875

The Chanler at Cliff Walk is an oceanside 1870 mansion set amid elegant gardens. New York congressman John Winthrop Chanler and his wife, Margaret Astor Ward (great-granddaughter of John Jacob Astor), built it. Here, they hosted Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and President Theodore Roosevelt. The décor harkens back to glamorous periods of the past: Louis XVI, English Tudor, Renaissance. In the evening, allow the butler to draw your bath — just like a Vanderbilt might. ▶ 117 Memorial Blvd.; 401-847-1300; thechanler.com

President Theodore Roosevelt was a guest at the stately Cliff Lawn mansion, now the Chanler at Cliff Walk.

Sarah Kendall House is a Victorian B&B with antique furnishings and harbor views. Even movie stars, more often convention attendees, have stayed in this serene house built in 1871 for the wife of a wealthy shipping merchant. It’s just a five-minute walk from downtown Newport and steps away from scenic Goat Island. Open yearround. ▶ 47 Washington St.; 401-8467976; sarahkendallhouse.com The Mill Street Inn offers modern amenities and a rooftop patio in a 19th-century former mill. The inn is also located one block from popular Thames Street. ▶ 75 Mill St.; 401-849-9500; millstreetinn.com


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RHODE ISLAND

Scarborough Beach, Narragansett

RHODE ISLAND WAVES

The Ocean State’s sandy standouts PHOTOS BY TED A. SORLIEN

By Hollie Deese

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Narragansett Beach

ONRAD FERLA HAS SURFED all over the country, from California to Florida. But the Narragansett, R.I., native and sales representative for surf and skate equipment says it’s difficult to beat the point breaks he catches way up north in his small home state. “Rhode Island actually faces south,” Ferla says. “That allows us to get exposed to a lot of swell angle, which creates a unique setup for certain types of waves. You get longer rides and because of the way Rhode Island is shaped and the direction, we can hide from a lot of different winds. It’s a great place to surf.” The state, which once hosted the America’s Cup yacht race, has dozens of beaches; some are hotbeds for hardcore surfers like Ferla and others are clear, calm and just right for families. “There’s a ton of little, hidden gems,” he says. “The whole state is a variation of nooks and crannies of little beaches.” When it comes to Rhode Island beaches, greenhouse farmer Mitchel Levcowich refers to himself as a “lifer.” Born in Westerly — where he raised two children, like his parents and their parents before them — the water and surrounding beaches are part of his life, whether he’s catching some waves in the morning or hitting his private beach cabana with his wife at night. “When the kids were little, every week I would take them to a different place, whether we went to Point Judith Lighthouse or the go-karts in Narragansett,” Levcowich says. Here are just a few of the many Rhode Island beaches that are worth a trip.

BLOCK ISLAND About 15 minutes from the mainland by airplane or 30 minutes by high-speed ferry, visitors can experience the state’s own island, complete with Victorian-era hotels,

numerous dining options and an extensive system of nature trails. Block Island’s 17 miles of beaches includes the white sands of Crescent Beach on the east side and secluded Mansion Beach, famous for its big

Brower, an investment officer based in Alexandria, Va., brings his wife and three children to Fogland Beach in Tiverton. Known for its excellent windsurfing and stunning view of the Sakonnet River, it even has a children’s playground. “A narrow strip of land separates the ocean on one side from the Sakonnet River on the other and you can swim in both,” Brower says. “It’s wavy on the ocean side and calm on the river side.” In historic Newport, visit Easton’s Beach and boardwalk, ride a 1950s carousel, or tour the Save the Bay Exploration Center and Aquarium. You can also take in the grandeur of historic homes on the Cliff Walk trail that begins next to Easton’s Beach. ▶ cityofnewport.com; cliffwalk.com; savebay. org/aquarium SOUTH COUNTY Whether you’re passionate about water sports, white sand or beachside entertainment, Narragansett and the surrounding area in South County have plenty to offer. The southern part of the state draws nearly 10,000 people every day to 19 different clean and accessible beaches across just as many acres. “The first wave I ever stood up on was at Narragansett Town Beach,” says Ferla, who recommends visitors take a surf lesson (try Narragansett Surf and Skate Shop or a surf school at Second Beach in nearby Middletown). “If you’re a beginner and you want to learn to surf, both of those beaches have big surf schools and really easy conditions,” Ferla says. ▶ 74 Narragansett Ave., Narragansett; 401789-7890; narragansettsurfandskate.com Brower is a fan of the area, too. His recommendation: “For a great half-day outing, rent a kayak from Narrow River Kayaks in Narragansett, kayak the Narrow River to Narragansett Beach, play in the ocean for a while, and then make the return trip.” ▶ 94 Middlebridge Rd., Narragansett; 401789-0334; narrowriverkayaks.com

waves and best reached by bicycle because of limited parking. “It’s kind of its own little world but it’s still Rhode Island,” Levcowich says. “Guys will jump on the plane just to go with their surfboard for a day and then come back.” ▶ blockisland.com NEWPORT COUNTY For a fun, uncrowded experience, David

Ferla recommends eating at the Ocean Mist in Matunuck — “the best beach bar, live reggae bands and an awesome surfing spot out front,” he says. Or indulge your taste for shellfish at the Matunuck Oyster Bar. ▶ 895 Matunuck Beach Rd., Wakefield; 401-782-3740; oceanmist.net ▶ 629 Succotash Rd., South Kingstown; 401-783-4202; rhodyoysters.com Are the kids with you? Check out Westerly’s popular Misquamicut State Beach, which has a low surf zone and the nearby Water Wizz of Westerly water slide park. Beware: This beach does fill to capacity during sunny summer weekends. So come early and bring sunscreen! ▶ www.riparks.com; waterwizzri.com


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MASSACHUSETTS

BOSTON BY THE NUMBERS

beloved Count the sites to see in this Massachusetts city By Luisa Colรณn


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THERE’S A REASON THAT 16.3 MILLION VISITORS FLOCKED to the Boston region in 2014. With a wealth of attractions that offer myriad ways to explore history, nature and the arts, it’s no wonder that one of America’s oldest cities is also one of its most popular.

DISCOVER TREASURES ALONG THE NORTH SHORE Boston is known as the cosmopolitan capital of Massachusetts, but the stunning coastline of Boston’s North Shore — stretching between the city and New Hampshire — offers visitors a unique experience that’s a departure from the city’s sophisticated urban vibe.

FANEUIL HALL MARKETPLACE

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18 eateries & pubs ▶ fan

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For a relaxed, laid-back experience, enjoy the ocean from one of the North Shore’s beautiful, sandy beaches — including the famous so-called “singing sands” of Manchesterby-the-Sea’s Singing Beach.

QUINCY MARKET FOOD COLONNADE

35 places to nosh

The Museum of Fine Arts houses almost 500,000 works of art as well as four eateries and three gift shops. ▶ mfa.org

permanent exhibit, the Yawkey Gallery on the Charles River, is three stories high and features a 30-foot waterfall. ▶ mos.org

If it’s the art of science you want to explore, check out the Museum of Science, which welcomed 1,402,476 visitors in 2014, making it Boston’s most popular museum. Its newest

The New England Aquarium’s 70-plus exhibits allow visitors to get up close and personal with 27,000 animals (including more than 80 penguins) in environments such as a

Looking for parking? There are

10,724

garage spaces within two miles of the marketplace

200,000-gallon Caribbean Coral Reef habitat. ▶ neaq.org Get a bird’s-eye, 360-degree panoramic view of Boston — up to 80 miles — from the Skywalk Observatory on the 50th floor of the Prudential Center, which looms over the city at 749 feet. On your way down, you can visit some of the Prudential Center’s

60-plus shops and restaurants. ▶ skywalk.boston.com Take your love of the arts citywide at this year’s ArtWeek Boston, a biannual creative festival with more than 100 events in more than 50 neighborhoods and towns from April 29 to May 8. Bonus: More than 60 percent of the events are free! ▶ artweekboston.org THINKSTOCK

The North Shore is the perfect location for hiking, biking, boating and just soaking up natural wonders. Ply the waters in a schooner or a cruise vessel for scenic delights such as historic lighthouses that look like pictureperfect postcards come to life. And you’ll want to take pictures to capture the sights on a whale-watching expedition. CO N T I N U E D


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FENWAY PARK

BOSTON DUCK TOURS

80 The North of Boston Seafood Trail is perfect for those who want to indulge in the Atlantic Ocean’s culinary delights such as lobster, clams and oysters served up Massachusetts-style. Museums mine the region’s rich history (try the Salem Witch Museum), and offer a vast and varied collection of art (visit the Peabody Essex Museum).

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.com ours t k c du ston ▶ bo You’ll feel as though you’ve traveled back in time when you stroll through the federalstyle architecture in Newburyport’s Market Square Historic District. And the charming seaside towns and art colonies of Bearskin Neck and Rocky Neck make for a perfect day of dining, sightseeing and shopping.

years old, the oldest ld t MLB ballpark in the U.S.

THINKSTOCK; MASSACHUSETTS OFFICE OF TRAVEL AND TOURISM

THE FREEDOM TRAIL

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green acres in America’s oldest public park

17 official historical sites

2.5 mile walk

THINKSTOCK; THINKSTO THIN KSTOCK; CK; BOSTON DUCK TOURS; THINKSTOCK; ASSOCIATED PRESS


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MASSACHUSETTS

Martha’s Vineyard

Nantucket

ISLAND DILEMMA

MARTHA’S VINEYARD CHAMBER OF COMMERCE; AMON FOCUS

Martha’s Vineyard vs. Nantucket: Which is right for you?

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By Diane Bair and Pamela Wright

F YOU’RE CONSIDERING A classic New England island for your summer getaway, point your topsail (or your Topsiders) toward either of these time-honored gems. Windswept beaches, fabulous seafood, charming inns: check, check, check! Feel like you’re posing for a Ralph Lauren photo spread (or Tommy Hilfiger, who has a house on Nantucket), check! Although Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket are both located off the coast of Massachusetts, they are definitely not the same. In fact, they’re friendly-ish rivals, whose children compete for things like the Island Cup football trophy. In a nutshell (clamshell?), and totally generalizing: Nantucket is more upscale and ultra-preppy, while Martha’s Vineyard is more funky and diverse. Here’s some insider info, so you can choose the island that best suits your vacation vibe. CO N T I N U E D


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Martha’s Vineyard pier

Nantucket Sandcastle and Sculpture Day

MARTHA’S VINEYARD CHAMBER OF COMMERCE ; MIKE GAVIN

SIZE COUNTS

ULTIMATE ISLAND SOUVENIR

CELEB! SPOTTING

ISLAND STYLE

MARTHA’S VINEYARD: At 96 square miles, with six towns, it’s larger than its rival. Bring a car, or go car-free and take Vineyard Transit buses wherever you want to go. ▶ vineyardtransit.com

MARTHA’S VINEYARD: Earthy-chic wampum jewelry, made from layered slabs of quahog clamshells by Wampanoag tribal member Berta Welch and her family. Available at Stony Creek Gifts in Aquinnah.

MARTHA’S VINEYARD: Laid-back and sporty. You never know when you’ll need to hop on a bike or a sailboard. Tourists can get away with those iconic Black Dog T-shirts (but only years-old, weathered versions).

NANTUCKET: At 47.8 square miles, Nantucket is an island, a county and a town. You won’t get lost. Island bike paths will get you to all the most desirable locales.

NANTUCKET: Originally made by sailors to pass the time, lightship baskets are handwoven of rattan and adorned with decorative carving. Prices range from the hundreds to thousands at nantucketbaskets.com; or you can find a 14-karat gold version at the Golden Basket. ▶ ackgoldenbasket.com

MARTHA’S VINEYARD: Don’t be surprised to see the likes of Larry David, Spike Lee, Diane Sawyer, Lady Gaga, Seth Myers, Carly Simon, Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen, plus the vacationing Obamas. John Belushi is buried here. NANTUCKET: Tommy Hilfiger, Bill Belichick, John Kerry, Paul Giamatti, Ben Stiller, Katie Couric and Fidelity CEO Abigail Johnson are known to frequent the island.

NANTUCKET: Yacht-y/preppy. The goal is to look like you cruised in on a mega-yacht, not the ferry. For men, Nantucket Red pants from Nantucket mainstay Murray’s Toggery; for women, punchy print dresses that declare, “I winter in Palm Beach.”

PARTY ON

SEAFOOD WITH A VIEW

OFFBEAT EXCURSION

BEACH WITH A BONUS

MARTHA’S VINEYARD: Illumination Night, held on the third Wednesday in August, is pure magic. It begins with a community sing-along, followed by the lighting of Oak Bluffs gingerbread cottages with candles and lanterns. Also amazing: the Agricultural Society Fair, held in Tisbury in late August.

MARTHA’S VINEYARD: The Bite, a small seafood shack in the fishing village of Menemsha, boasts the island’s best fried clams.

MARTHA’S VINEYARD: Walk a goat, or take a silly selfie with same, at Native Earth Teaching Farm in Chilmark. ▶ nativeearthteachingfarm.org

NANTUCKET: Get your hands on a simple but perfect lobster roll, or indulge in New England’s top claim to culinary fame: a clam bake with lobster and all the fixings at Nantucket Lobster Trap. ▶ nantucketlobstertrap.com

NANTUCKET: You never know what you’ll find among the rich people’s cast-offs at the “Madaket Mall,” aka the Nantucket Landfill. For reals.

MARTHA’S VINEYARD: The public Moshup Beach in Aquinnah is better known for what it doesn’t have than what it does have: clothing. Nude sunbathing isn’t legal here, but some people do it anyway, and the swimming is fine, too.

NANTUCKET: Getting gritty is the name of the game at Nantucket Sandcastle and Sculpture Day (July 23) at Jetties Beach. Maybe a sand portrait of Nantucket native Meghan Trainor? Apply online. ▶ nisda.org

NANTUCKET: Located about five miles west of town, Madaket Beach is sunset-watching central. Bring a picnic.

INFO: Martha’s Vineyard: mvy.com; Nantucket: nantucketchamber.org


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MASSACHUSETTS

MASSACHUSETTS FAMILY AFFAIRS

Cool campgrounds for the whole crew

By Diane Bair and Pamela Wright

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E GOT UP AT dawn, drove for two hours, and then traveled by ferry to get to our campground on Martha’s Vineyard. Later, as we watched the kids char marshmallows for s’mores and joined them in an impromptu rap about camping (apparently we’re not the “Kumbaya” crowd!), we happily realized that nobody was arguing or staring at a glowing screen. Score! If you’re nostalgic for those back-to-nature, citronella-scented days of yore, pack up the tent and sleeping bags (or reserve a yurt) and head to one of these activity-filled campgrounds in Massachusetts. When you’re in the woods, catching fireflies trumps searching for Wi-Fi every time. CO N T I N U E D

Tully Lake Campground R. SMITH, COURTESY OF THE TRUSTEES OF RESERVATIONS; THINKSTOCK


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Martha’s Vineyard Family Campground

PACK YOUR BAGS AND GO PINEWOOD LODGE CAMPGROUND Plymouth It’s practically the law to take your kids to the nearby Plimoth Plantation, so why not make it a family fun two-fer? Operated by the Saunders family since 1962, Pinewood Lodge offers 300 tent and RV sites in addition to rental yurts, cabins, lakeside homes and cottages set within 200 acres of white pine forest. A 50-acre freshwater lake is the center of the action, with a swimming area, bass fishing and plenty of rental boats. The rustic main lodge is the retro setting for dances, bingo and craft projects. It can be a lively scene, so this one is better suited for older kids than little ones with early bedtimes. Bonus: Plymouth is located between Boston and Cape Cod, so it’s a great base for day-tripping. ▶ 190 Pinewood Rd.; 508-746-3548; pinewoodlodge.com

MARTHA’S VINEYARD FAMILY CAMPGROUND Vineyard Haven It’s the island’s best-kept secret: tent camping sites for less than 60 bucks a night. Or bunk up in an inexpensive rental cabin for an easy, outdoorsy island getaway. Located close to the Vineyard Haven ferry terminal, the island’s only campground is accessible to nearly 50 miles of bike trails. Bring your car or use island shuttles to explore Martha’s Vineyard’s myriad hiking trails (some with gorgeous ocean vistas), island beaches and family attractions like the Flying Horses Carousel, the nation’s oldest platform carousel. Need we say it? Book early. ▶ 569 Edgartown Rd.; 508-693-3772; campmv.com

NICKERSON STATE PARK Brewster

TULLY LAKE CAMPGROUND Royalston

This Cape Cod park looks like it was plucked out of the Berkshire Hills or the wilds of North Carolina: it’s all pine woods and freshwater ponds, not the typical Cape combo of sand dunes and salt marshes. Start your Tour de Cape by pedaling the park’s 8-mile bike trail, which connects to the 22-mile Cape Cod Rail Trail. The campground offers more than 400 campsites spread over 1,900 wooded acres, with enough activity to wear out the most energetic bunch, including pond swimming, trout fishing, hiking and boating (with on-site rentals.) Pitch a tent or rent a yurt, and enjoy the Cape’s spectacular natural beauty. ▶ Route 6A; 508-896-3491; mass.gov

Waterfalls and wilderness — not a bad setting for a family adventure! Tully Lake Campground in north central Massachusetts is the perfect base camp for exploring 22-mile Tully Trail, a hiking wonderland featuring three sets of cascades, glacial potholes and a natural bedrock bridge. Come nightfall, settle in at one of 35 tent-only campsites set on the shores of 200acre Tully Lake. Make it a multisport escape and hit the mountain bike trails, go fishing or paddle around the lake’s islands and inlets. Good news for the designated packer in the family: The campground rents canoes, kayaks, fishing poles and GPS devices for geocaching. Oh, yeah, devices. Your kids have already forgotten about them. ▶ 25 Doane Hill Rd.; 978-249-4957; thetrustees.org/tullylake MARTHA’S VINEYARD FAMILY CAMPGROUND; THINKSTOCK


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VERMONT Stowe

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VERMONT DRIVES You’ll see more than just mountains By Nancy Dunham

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HEN A STATE IS renowned for its natural beauty — including the forests that make up more than 75 percent of its landscape — it’s tempting to pigeonhole it. Those who visit Vermont may be surprised to find an array of landmarks, entertainment, athletic and historic points mixed right in with the scenery. Consider these best-loved drives:

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VERMONT DRIVES

HIKE, BIKE OR BOAT African American History Along the Vermont African American Heritage Trail, teachers, storytellers, ministers and legislators tell vibrant stories at 20 locations about the African Americans who helped establish the state — it was the first to prohibit slavery — and who fought for the Union during the Civil War. ▶ vermontvacation.com/african-americanheritage-trail

DENNIS CURRAN

Lake Champlain THINKSTOCK

The Lake Champlain Byway — made up mostly of U.S. Route 2 and U.S. Route 7 — tracks the eastern shore of Lake Champlain from Alburgh near the Canadian border. The route covers about 81 miles and can be driven in about 2½ hours. Guides such as the website America’s Scenic Byways suggest planning to take two to five days to cover it so you can soak in the scenery along the way, The drive will take you through quiet farming towns and small villages featuring family-owned shops and restaurants serving food from nearby farms. Get plenty of fresh air, too, by leaving the road and taking to the hiking and cycling trails, or by fishing or boating in the lake itself, the sixth-largest in the U.S. Enjoy seasonal festivals, concerts and wineries as well. ▶ vermontvacation.com/landing-pages/byways/lake-champlain-byway

Covered bridge in Warren

THINKSTOCK

Covered Bridge Territory Covered bridges, retro and romantic, pepper the state. Vermont’s more than 100 covered spans range from tiny bridges over streams to the longest two-span covered bridge in the world; that’s the 449-foot-long WindsorCornish bridge that takes travelers between Windsor, Vt., and Cornish, N.H. Visitors can easily find covered bridges in the small state, many within short distances of each other. Before hitting the road, check out the website for the Covered Bridge Museum of the Bennington Center for the Arts for details on some of the best-loved routes, complete with a map. The Tucker Hill Inn offers complete directions for a two- or four-hour tour of several bridges beginning in Waitsfield about 30 minutes from Montpelier, the state capital. ▶ 65 Marble Hill Rd.; 802-496-3983; visit-vermont.com/state/ covered-bridges; thebennington.org; tuckerhill.com

ROKEBY MUSEUM

Start the trail at Rokeby Museum in Ferrisburgh (it doesn’t open until mid-May), where visitors explore Vermont’s role in the Underground Railroad. In July, the museum holds an annual reading of one of Frederick Douglass’ most fiery speeches on abolition. ▶ 4334 Route 7; 802-877-3406; rokeby.org

THINKSTOCK

THINKSTOCK

VERMONT DIVISION FOR HISTORIC PRESERVATION

The 14th stop 100 miles away is at the Justin Morrill Homestead Vermont State Historic Site, Vermont’s first National Historic Landmark, which recognizes the senator’s role in introducing legislation that established historically black colleges and universities in the U.S. Morrill’s “Cottage Gothic” style home and gardens are open to visitors. ▶ 214 Justin Morrill Memorial Highway; South Strafford; 802-765-4288; morrillhomestead.org

Outdoor Recreation Trails Wherever you drive in this lush state, you can pull up to scenic trails and waterways. And don’t worry, it’s not just the most challenging trails that boast the best views; there are paths for the most avid outdoors enthusiasts as well as visitors looking for an easy excursion. ▶ trailfinder.info


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VERMONT

Bragg Farm Sugarhouse & Gift Shop, East Montpelier

VERMONT MAPLE MADNESS Syrup center of the country By Stacy Chandler

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LENTY OF STATES ARE known for a food, but Vermont is known for a particular flavor. The taste of maple instantly brings to mind bright fall foliage, cozy winter cabins and majestic mountains. But against such a grand backdrop, maple keeps it simple. At the sticky, sweet heart of it all is sap that flows from sugar maple trees. CO N T I N U E D

PAUL REYNOLDS PHOTOGRAPHY


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MAKING MAPLE SYRUP Morse Farm Maple Sugarworks, Montpelier

STEP 1 Tap trees and collect sap

STEP 2 Boil excess water from sap

PHOTOS BY PAUL REYNOLDS PHOTOGRAPHY

STEP 3 Filter and bottle syrup

Depending on the sugar house, through means ancient or modern, the sap is collected and the water in it is boiled away, thickening and caramelizing the sugar that remains. Depending on the process, the end result is maple syrup, maple cream or maple sugar. Different products, all delicious. “It’s the taste of where we’re located,” says Amanda Voyer, spokeswoman for the Vermont Maple Sugar Makers Association. If you’re pouring U.S.-made maple syrup onto your pancakes, chances are it came from Vermont. In 2015, 40 percent of America’s maple syrup came from the state’s thousands of taps, according to the OF AMERICA’S U.S. Department of Agriculture. MAPLE SYRUP Many of those growing number IS FROM of taps belong to sugar houses VERMONT that welcome visitors at harvest time (four to six weeks in early to mid-spring) as well as year-round.

40%

While each sugar house offers a unique experience to visitors, they all have one thing in common, Voyer says: “All sugar makers are very proud of what it is that they produce.”

HUNGRY FOR MORE? HERE’S A LOOK AT JUST A FEW VERMONT SUGAR HOUSES OPEN TO VISITORS: SMITH MAPLE CREST FARM A lot has changed since Smith Maple Crest Farm started a little over 200 years ago, but maple syrup has always been part of its story. Today, the farm — still in the family — also raises grass-fed beef and is home to a bed and breakfast that once hosted poet Robert Frost. ▶ 2512 Lincoln Hill Rd., Shrewsbury; 802492-2151 (farm); 802-492-3367 (B&B); smithmaplecrestfarm.com SUGARBUSH FARM Sample maple products as well as another wellknown Vermont product made on site: cheese. The farm features a chapel and beautiful nature trails,

including the path used by draft horses to collect sap each spring. ▶ 591 Sugarbush Farm Rd., Woodstock; 800-2811757; sugarbushfarm.com MORSE FARM MAPLE SUGARWORKS The Morse family is proud to show off its eighthgeneration operation with free sugar house tours and tastings, a country store, a woodshed theater and chainsaw-carved folklife characters created by Burr Morse. Don’t miss out on the maple creemee, softserve ice cream mixed with maple syrup and sprinkled with maple dust. ▶ 1168 County Rd., Montpelier; 800-2422740; morsefarm.com

COUTURE’S MAPLE SHOP AND BED & BREAKFAST Not far from the Canadian border, Couture’s features a bed and breakfast nestled in the heart of a dairy farm — the website playfully warns of “cows that might even wake you up in the morning!” Before you take a short walk to the on-site sugar house, enjoy a breakfast that features maple products. ▶ 560 Vt. Route 100, Westfield; 802-744-2733; maplesyrupvermont.com For a list of sugar houses open year-round, go to: visitvt.com/ about_vermont/maple_ sugarhouses_open_yearround.aspx —Stacy Chandler


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NEW HAMPSHIRE

NEW HAMPSHIRE OLD TIME Longstanding attractions for the entire family

By Diane Bair and Pamela Wright

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OR CENTURIES, FAMILIES HAVE headed north to the mountains of New Hampshire to visit their favorite old-fashioned attractions. Fun like this never goes out of style!

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SANTA’S VILLAGE For the past two years, this holiday-themed attraction, set in a rural forest, has been named one of the top 25 amusement parks in the U.S. by TripAdvisor in its annual Travelers’ Choice Awards. There are 19 amusement rides, like the Yule Log Flume, S.S. Peppermint Twist and Chimney Drop, as well as a water park, live shows and real reindeer in the Reindeer Rendezvous Barn. Meet Santa and ride the Skyway Sleigh monorail for bird’s-eye views of the park and surrounding mountains. ▶ 528 Presidential Highway, Jefferson; 603-586-4445; santasvillage.com CO N T I N U E D

SANTA’S VILLAGE


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NEW HAMPSHIRE

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STORY LAND Look, it’s Little Bo Peep with her sheep! Youngsters love to meet their favorite story book characters at this family-friendly attraction that has a mixed bag of amusements. Open for more than six decades, the theme park spreads across 30 acres and features live shows and 23 rides, including the Splash Battle water ride, Bamboo Chutes log flume and the new Roar-O-Saurus wooden roller coaster. Don’t miss riding the Pumpkin Coach to Cinderella’s Castle. ▶ 850 Route 16, Glen; 603-383-4186; storylandnh.com

STORY LAND

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SQUAM LAKES NATURAL SCIENCE CENTER Kids love the up-close views of live bears, mountain lions, foxes, coyote, raccoons, owls, eagles, bobcats and more at this center dedicated to showcasing the wonders of nature. The center will celebrate its 50th anniversary this summer with a new collection of 18 water-related exhibit areas containing minks, turtles, frogs and fish. There are also live animal demonstrations, handson exhibits, hiking trails and guided boat cruises. ▶ 23 Science Center Rd., Holderness; 603-968-7194; nhnature.org

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CLARK’S TRADING POST It wouldn’t be a summer vacation without a visit to this familyowned theme park, best known for its trained black bears. Clark’s, which started in 1928 as a roadside attraction, has become one of New England’s most beloved spots. Watch as unleashed, native black bears perform tricks during a show that thrills both kids and adults. Then ride a steam train (look out for the Wolfman!), navigate Merlin’s Mystical Mansion and watch Chinese acrobats. ▶ 110 Daniel Webster Highway, Lincoln; 603-745-8913; clarkstradingpost.com

SQUAM LAKES NATURAL SCIENCE CENTER

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POLAR CAVES It’s all dirty fun at this maze of caves and tunnels formed by giant boulders that were deposited eons ago and now are connected by boardwalks and stairs. Families who don’t mind getting their knees dirty will enjoy finding hidden Smuggler’s Cave, squirming through Lemon Squeeze and screaming in dark Fat Man’s Misery. No worries: You can always take detours around some of the more challenging spots. Opens May 7. ▶ 705 Route 25, Rumney; 603-5361888; polarcaves.com

POLAR CAVES

CLARK’S TRADING POST


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NEW HAMPSHIRE

NEW HAMPSHIRE HIKES Tackle lovely, challenging trails amid beautiful scenery

For more information on all the New Hampshire state parks: ▶ nhstateparks.org

Monadnock State Park

WWW.ECOPHOTOGRAPHY.COM

By Nancy Dunham

ITH MORE THAN 4,000 miles of hiking trails, New Hampshire offers routes challenging enough for those who want an extreme adventure and simple enough for short after-lunch strolls. Here are a few of the most popular sites.

trail leading to the summit, where hikers can see the nearby White Mountains and other spectacular peaks. Visitors to Rollins State Park, on the south slope near Warner, can drive on a scenic road to the picnic area known as the “Garden,” which features views that stretch all the way to the Boston skyline as well as a half-mile trail to the summit. Rollins opens May 14; Winslow has been open since late March.

MOUNT KEARSARGE

PILLSBURY STATE PARK

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Any hiker worth his or her boots knows that Mount Kearsarge is a “must” stop. The 2,920-foot-elevation mountain is home to two state parks (Winslow and Rollins) with rich offerings and magnificent views. Winslow State Park, on the northwest slope near Wilmot, offers a picnic area on a plateau at 1,820 feet with a short foot

Among the attractions at this little-known (even its website says so) state park is its link to the 51-mile Monadnock-Sunapee Greenway Trail, a popular network of trails hosted by private landowners. The trails in Pillsbury State Park, located near Washington, take hikers through dense woods and past ponds and

wetlands. The park is home to wildlife ranging from moose to loons. If you enjoy mixing history with nature, visit the park’s “cellar holes,” remnants of farm settlements and lumber camps from the 18th and 19th centuries. The park opens for the season May 21.

MONADNOCK STATE PARK

For a challenging hike, take the steep White Dot or White Cross trail to the top of 3,165-foot Mount Monadnock. But there are plenty of easier options within Monadnock State Park, near Jaffney. There’s the long but scenic Pumpelly Trail and the simple loop of the Dora Spaulding Nature Trail. The entire mountain is a National Nature Landmark, and the park is surrounded by thousands of acres of protected land. It is open year-round.

MOUNTAIN HIKING TIPS ▶ Wear sturdy walking shoes with non-slip soles. ▶ Bring plenty of water; not all trails make it available. ▶ Dress in layers. Mountain weather is very changeable, even in the summer, and temperatures can shift suddenly. ▶ Make sure you start early enough on your hike to make it back before dark. ▶ Pay attention to trail markers; you don’t want to find yourself on a trail more difficult than you expected. SOURCE: NEW HAMPSHIRE DIVISION OF PARKS AND RECREATION


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MAINE

GET CRACKING Find the best lobster in the rough in Maine

By Diane Bair and Pamela Wright

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RING ON THE PLASTIC bibs and melted butter! In New England, lobster in the rough — eaten outdoors in a super-casual setting — is the ultimate taste of summertime, and nobody does it better than Maine. The lobster industry contributes more than $1 billion to the state’s economy annually — that’s about 121 million pounds of lobster last year, according to the Maine Lobster Marketing Collaborative — and they still do it the traditional way. Lobster harvesting is often a family affair, with techniques and territories passed on through the generations. “Lobsters are hand-caught in baited traps that are set on the ocean floor,” explains longtime lobsterman Sonny Beal. “Lobstermen go out on small day boats, and then return to the wharf with their catch.” If you’re a true crustacean connoisseur (or just looking for a chance to wear that lobster costume), don’t miss this year’s Maine Lobster Festival (mainelobsterfestival.com), held in Rockland from Aug. 3-7. The lobster-themed celebration includes a Maine Sea Goddess pageant, lobster crate races and the consumption of 20,000-plus pounds of lobster, steamed in what organizers call the “world’s largest lobster cooker.” During the five-day festival, more than 20,000 pounds of lobster are served, with more than 1,700 pounds of butter! Of course, what you really want to know is where the best places are to get a steamed lobster fresh off the boat, served with spectacular ocean views and fresh blueberry pie (Maine’s other claim to fame). Here’s a look at some of our favorite lobster shacks, where you’ll find picnic tables, plastic cutlery and all of the buttery, lobster-y deliciousness you can handle.

R LOBSTE FACT

try ter indus The lobs more than tes contribu to Maine’s n o li il b 1 $ lly! y annua m o n eco

JENNY CAMPBELL

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Five Islands Lobster

LOBSTER LORE TO CHEW ON

WHAT’S THE COLOR? Lobsters are rarely bright red in the ocean; most are greenishbrown. Then again, “I have caught a few blue lobsters, as well as white, orange, black, and leopard-spotted. It’s just the luck of the draw,” says longtime lobsterman Sonny Beal. (The crustaceans turn red when cooked; the heat changes the color of the pigment in their shells.)

DAVID A. FULLER

TOP LOBSTER SPOTS CHAUNCEY CREEK LOBSTER PIER

Kittery Point

You don’t have to go deep into Maine — or way Downeast, which is actually up north — to find lobster nirvana. Chauncey Creek is located near the state’s southern border, set on a wooden pier over a tidal creek. Prepare to get messy as you dig into your 1- to 4-pound lobster, slaw and raw bar selections. It’s BYOB, but that’s easy if you like microbrews with your lobster; Tributary Brewing Co. is 3 miles away. ▶ 16 Chauncey Creek Rd.; 207-439-1030; chaunceycreek.com

FIVE ISLANDS LOBSTER

Georgetown

Boiled lobster and fried clams — a perfect pair! This mid-coast lobster shack does them both proud. Lobsters are pulled directly from the cold, deep-blue waters of Sheepscot Bay at this active fishing wharf. Seafood is hand-breaded, fried to golden perfection and enhanced with housemade sauces, including tartar sauce with fresh dill and a kicky cilantro mayo with jalapeño. Add a pile of mussels, corn on the cob, coleslaw and ice cream, and you’ve constructed a fabulous Maine feast. BYOB. ▶ 1447 Five Islands Rd.; 207-371-2990; fiveislandslobster.com

WATERMAN’S BEACH LOBSTER

South Thomaston

The James Beard Award folks, who gave Waterman’s the America’s Classic Award in 2001, call it a “temple to Maine’s unofficial state crustacean.” This family-owned lobster shack is tucked between a meadow and a rocky beach overlooking Mussel Ridge Channel. Bring binoculars to spot seals and shorebirds. You couldn’t ask for a better spot to dismantle a steamed lobster and savor tasty accompaniments like slaw (made with local Fiore olive oil and balsamic vinegar) and homemade blueberry pie. BYOB. ▶ 343 Waterman’s Beach Rd.; 207-596-7819; watermansbeachlobster. com

BARNACLE BILLY’S

Ogunquit

Rather not rough it? Set in the so-cute southern coastal town of Ogunquit, Barnacle Billy’s draws a steady stream of lobster lovers to the twin indoor-outdoor restaurants overlooking Perkins Cove. Most likely, there’ll be a wait, but Billy’s signature rum punch helps pass the time. Grab a coveted seat on the deck and enjoy views of the harbor and the tourist flow. This is a dandy spot to pick up a lobster-themed memento or maybe catch a lobster boat cruise and savor New England’s sweet, short summertime. ▶ 50-70 Perkins Cove Rd.; 207-646-5575; barnbilly. com

PLENTY TO GO AROUND During colonial times, lobster was so plentiful that it was used as fertilizer or served to prisoners, apprentices and slaves.

FAMILY TREE Lobsters are arthropods, closely related to shrimps and crabs. THINKSTOCK


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MAINE MARVEL Acadia National Park by land and by sea By Diane Bair and Pamela Wright

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CADIA NATIONAL PARK, KNOWN for its spectacular mountain-to-sea scenery, will celebrate its 100th anniversary this year. What better time to visit this jewel on Mount Desert Island along Maine’s northern coast? Here are two great ways to get the most out of your visit.

TIP:

Stop by the park’s Hulls Cove Visitor Center to pick up maps and a schedule of free park programs and ranger-led excursions. Route 3 in Bar Harbor; 207-288-3338; acadiamagic.com

Jordan Pond SUSAN COLE KELLY; THINKSTOCK


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BY LAND

For the best views on the island, drive the 27-mile Park Loop Road skirting the rocky coastline and snaking around mountains and glacier lakes. Popular stops include Thunder Hole, where the surf crashes into an underwater cavern; Sand Beach, where the water generally registers a cool 55 degrees even in summer; and pristine Jordan Pond that’s bounded by mountain peaks (stop off for tea and popovers at the Jordan Pond House Restaurant). “It’s essential to get to the top of Cadillac Mountain,” insists John Kelly, management assistant for the park. “It’s the highest peak along the North Atlantic seaboard (1,530 feet) and the views are stunning.” Drive to the open granite summit via a winding 3.5-mile road. Acadia has more than 120 miles of hiking trails, from flat, oceanside walks to challenging cliffside routes. Popular hikes include the moderate 3.2-mile Jordan Pond Path along the rocky shoreline; the 1.8-mile Gorham Mountain Trail with views of Otter Cliff and Sand Beach; and the strenuous Precipice Trail, a near-vertical scramble using iron rungs up the east face of Champlain Mountain. Rent bikes in Bar Harbor to explore the interior of the park. Thick forests, dotted with glacier-formed lakes and ponds, are crisscrossed by 45 miles of historic, car-free carriage roads. Try the carriage road around Eagle Lake, with easy grades and water views, or pedal around nearby Witch Hole Pond.

PARK TRANSPORTATION The Island Explorer bus offers free transportation to and from Bar Harbor to park sights, popular trailheads and surrounding communities. ▶ 207-667-5796; exploreacadia.com

Acadia National Park PHOTOS BY MAINE OFFICE OF TOURISM

GET ACTIVE! Adventures and activities to do while exploring Acadia National Park:

BIKE RENTALS

SCENIC DRIVING

WALKING TRAILS

CLIMBING CADILLAC MOUNTAIN

WHALE! WATCHING TOUR

KAYAK TOURS

THINKSTOCK

ACADIA NATIONAL PARK ▶ 207-2883338; www.nps. gov/acad Entrance fees (valid for seven days): ▶ $25 per private vehicle ▶ $20 per motorcycle (up to two passengers) ▶ $12 per person (bicyclist, hiker, pedestrian); ages 15 and under free

Sand Beach

Buy your pass at locations near the park or purchase online at yourpassnow. com.

BY SEA

One of the best ways to view Acadia’s spectacular landscape is by boat, and the waters surrounding the park offer some of the best cruising and paddling grounds in the country. Kayak, for instance, through the dramatic Somes Sound, a deep, glacier-carved cavity that flows into Mount Desert Island, giving it its horseshoe shape. No experience is necessary to join a guided kayak tour in scenic Frenchman Bay, where you’ll have a chance to be nearly eye level with porpoises, seals and a variety of waterfowl. ▶ Coastal Kayaking Tours: 207-288-9605; acadiafun.com If you prefer to sail, hop aboard the Alice E — the oldest-working Friendship sloop in the country — for a sail through Somes Sound and a peek at the park’s Bear Island Lighthouse. ▶ 207-266-5210; sailacadia. com Families will enjoy the Dive-in Theater cruise into Frenchman

Bay. Watch as the dive captain takes underwater footage and brings up sea creatures to see and touch. ▶ 207-288-3483; divered.com On a Bar Harbor Whale Watch tour, you’ll visit the playground of some of the largest animals in the world. On the narrated fourhour tour, you’ll head for the nutrient-rich feeding grounds of humpback, finback and minke whales. Keep your eyes peeled for eagles, porpoises, dolphins and North Atlantic puffins. Other tours include a lobster bake and a sunset whale watch. ▶ 207-288-2386; barharbor whales.com


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